Lonely Planet review
Flanked by the castle and the River Taff, Bute Park was donated to the city along with the castle in 1947. With Sophia Gardens, Pontcanna Fields and Llandaff Fields, it forms a green corridor that stretches northwest for 1½ miles to Llandaff. All were once part of the Bute's vast holdings.
Forming the park's southern edge, the Animal Wall is topped with stone figures of lions, seals, bears and other creatures. It was designed by castle architect William Burges but only completed in 1892 after his death, with more animals added in the 1920s. In the 1930s they were the subject of a newspaper cartoon strip and many Cardiff kids grew up thinking the animals came alive at night.
In Cooper's Field, the part of the park just west of the castle, is a stone circle, erected in 1978 when Cardiff hosted the National Eisteddfod. Such so-called gorsedd stones are found all over Wales where eisteddfodau have been held.
Nearby are the foundations of the 13th-century Blackfriars Priory , which was destroyed in 1404 when Owain Glyndŵr attacked Cardiff, and later rebuilt, only to be finally vacated in 1538 when the monasteries were dissolved.